Yankee Women

Overview

“Vivid. . . . Yankee Woman forms a valuable contribution to the study of a pivotal event in American history and credibly delves beneath the hagiographies to the messy politics of women’s involvement in what was for them a new arena of public life.” —Julie Wheelwright, London Sunday TimesYankee Woman examines the experiences of women in the Civil War and, in particular, the lives of three courageous and independent women: one a frontline nurse, the second a community organizer, and the third the only woman to serve as a Union army surgeon in the
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Overview

“Vivid. . . . Yankee Woman forms a valuable contribution to the study of a pivotal event in American history and credibly delves beneath the hagiographies to the messy politics of women’s involvement in what was for them a new arena of public life.” —Julie Wheelwright, London Sunday TimesYankee Woman examines the experiences of women in the Civil War and, in particular, the lives of three courageous and independent women: one a frontline nurse, the second a community organizer, and the third the only woman to serve as a Union army surgeon in the war. Elizabeth Leonard’s in-depth research and her ability to spin a captivating tale combine to make Yankee Woman both a fascinating study of gender politics in society and a thoroughly absorbing story—the story of three women ahead of their time.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Victorian life, as we're reminded by Leonard, a history professor at Colby College in Maine, delineated gender spheres: the home for women and the rest of the world for men. The Civil War challenged this construction as women created new places for themselves. Yankee Sophronia Bucklin was a frontline nurse who was self-confident enough to question the authority of army surgeons, and Annie Wittenmeyer organized supplies for hospitals. Mary Walker was the only woman doctor in the Union Army--and served wearing bloomers. Postwar accounts reintegrated the contributions of these women, writes Leonard, into conventional patterns ``to foster a return of middle-class gender arrangements to their status quo antebellum.'' But nothing could take away Mary Walker's hard-won Congressional Medal of Honor. A thoughtful and original study. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Dr. Mary E. Walker wore bloomers, scandalized bureaucrats, and fought to be commissioned a surgeon in the Union Army. Sophronia Bucklin left her home and family upstate New York to become a battlefield nurse. Annie Wittenmyer coordinated Iowa's military relief supplies and later organized special diet kitchens for wounded soldiers, saving many lives. All three women pushed beyond prevailing Victorian antebellum mores to make meaningful contributions to the Civil War. Leonard (history, Colby Coll.) examines their lives and struggles against a male-dominated society that insisted a woman's place was in the home, not on the battlefield or in the hospital. She highlights one battle behind the war: the fight for professional recognition-that is, compensation and acknowledgment of real contributions-waged by these and many other women, some of whom sacrificed as much as the soldiers they tended. A powerful and valuable addition to larger public library history collections.-Nancy L. Whitfield, Meriden P.L., Ct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393313727
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth D. Leonard is the John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History at Colby College. The author of several books, including Yankee Women, All the Daring of a Soldier, Lincoln’s Avengers, and Men of Color to Arms!, she lives in Waterville, Maine.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. 1 "No Place for Woman"?: Sophronia Bucklin and Civil War Nursing 3
Ch. 2 "Men Did Not Take to the Musket More Commonly Than Women to the Needle": Annie Wittemyer and Soldier's Aid 51
Ch. 3 "A Thing That Nothing But the Depraved Yankee Nation Could Produce": Mary Walker, M.D., and the Limits of Tolerance 105
Ch. 4 The Women and the Storytellers After the War 159
Conclusion 195
Notes 203
Select Bibliography 285
Index 299
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